Thursday, 19 March 2020


Well how quickly the world can change,,,, the last time I posted nobody had heard of Kung Flu,,, and now here we are where purchasing a carton of milk and a loaf takes 70 minutes,,, and that excludes the 5min walk each way.

FACT it was experienced by me at Sainsbury's North Walsham this morning!!!!
Todays LIST was "milk and bread" and I was advised by the management to get there before 9am as now pensioners get special dispensation between 8 and 9am every morning!!!! 
[she just loves reminding me I qualify for such perks!!!]
It was "special" alright,,, more like Zimmer Central / Buggy Fest than a supermarket.
And I can see I am going to have to get well topped up on tattoo's when social isolation finishes as a lot of todays pensioners are covered in them.

To recover from such exertions I took myself off to the garage and had a concerted effort at progressing further with the trams overheads,,,,,, see pics above.

Suicide corner now has a working overhead in both directions courtesy of a 4 post matrix from which I dangle various lumps of wire to attach the overhead to.

The rest of the system is on single poles with overhanging arms positioned over track in a uniform way,, sort of!!!

Now I have never played 3 dimensional chess but I am aware it is quite tricky and you have to think quite well in front,,, after the overheads excercise I think I'll give the chess a go,,, at least I can do that in the warm of the kitchen!!!!

Believe it or not but I have found the whole process very interesting,,, it is something I have been putting off for years but now I have actually got started I find the whole thing fascinating,,, yes incredibly fiddly and also very frustrating especially if you don't really know what your doing but at the same time I keep going back and having another go at being fascinated.

Now we get to the really "interesting" bit the trolley pole reversing triangle.
With some blinding forethought,, [and the vast experience of a couple of months of installing pretty straight forward single line overheads] I decided to make a test bed for the triangle,,, just to see how it all go's!!!!!

You "lucky bandstand" springs to mind,,, I really don't know why I decided to do that but boy am I glad that I did.
So far I am on attempt/test track no's 3 and we are getting close but not close enough for it to go round without the trolley flying off the wire,,, where's Charlton Heston and the Greatest Show on Earth when you need him!!!
If I had been attempting that amongst all the terraced cottages on Fiddle Hill not only would I have done serious damage to the chimneys. downpipes, roofing and pavements but I would probably have lost my sanity as well!!! [well what was left of it before I started]

I have to say if I had found tram overheads about 30 years ago my modelling career could have been somewhat different!!! I have become totally absorbed by the bloomin overheads.

They defy all logic,,, what you must never forget is that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line,, now you have taken that info on board only use it when you really have to.
The reason for that is that the trolley pole on the top of the tram is usually about 20 minutes behind the tram so what is happening to the wheels is completely different to what is happening to the minute pulley wheel at the end of the trolley pole,,, my trolley roller wheel is about 1.5mm in diameter and it sits on 0.45mm nickel silver wire,,,so you quickly learn you don't have a lot of free dimensions to play with!!!!

The horse hair shirted Trammy purists [yes yes,,, trams have them as well] suggest that the only true way to model an overhead is to copy the real thing and have the overhead line over the centre line of the track below,,,, very nice in theory,,, but as my roads were layed around 2006 and associated buildings installed over the next couple of years I have some rather severe curves to negotiate,, and then we have the daddy of them all "Suicide Corner"
The purists also advocate that to negotiate a corner you should run a series of straight lines not a curved piece of wire,,,, well Ned,, I tried,,, but quickly decided that being over 70 with a viral controlled life expectancy of "not a lot left" my life was too short to go the purist route and so I have utilised some pre-formed radius wires in an effort to get it to work,,, which it does,,, most of the time.

Another aspect of the complete overhead scenario is that just because you can get it to work nicely going left to right you unfortunately cannot expect the same results when it is going in the opposite direction,,, Ha Ha what fun we are having!!!!

Normally I would finish by wittering on about the Kung Flu virus and all that but as it is I have something much more important to conquer,,,, and that is the left to right reverse triangle at slow speed,,,, it's been fun,,, it really has,,, and I have learnt so much,,, and queuing at Sainsbury's this morning gave me the opportunity to think about the 43rd possible solution to the problem!!!

I hope to offer further updates,,,, BUT,,, one never knows what is around the next transition curve!!!!

Thanks for reading and please TAKE CARE EVERYBODY.

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